PhD position in Sensorimotor Development in Early Childhood

PhD position in Sensorimotor Development in Early Childhood

Published Deadline Location
26 Apr 16 May Maastricht

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Job description

Have you ever wondered how babies and young children can be so quick in learning to reach, climb, and run? Are you interested in investigating their motor learning abilities? Are you enthusiastic about computational modelling coupled with a desire to work with children? Then we have the perfect opportunity for you!

Job Description
The section Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, as part of the faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, is looking for a PhD candidate who will delve into the relationship between short-term motor learning, skill acquisition and (neural) motor noise. The project will entail theoretical work, computational modelling and empirical studies with infants, young children and adults. You will collect and analyse motion-tracking data both in highly controlled laboratory settings and in the homes of infants with a motor disorder. Additionally, you will investigate infants’ brain activity during motor tasks.

Your responsibilities will include:
  • To perform scientific research in the domain of motor development.
  • To be able to work independently, as well as collaboratively in both research oriented and in applied settings.
  • To publish the main results in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • To assist with educational tasks, e.g., in tutorial sessions and in co-supervising students and internships for instance in the Master Developmental Psychology.

We are seeking candidates with the following qualifications:
  • Master’s degree (completed or soon to be completed) in Movement Sciences, (Developmental) Cognitive Neuroscience, Human-Technology Interaction, or Developmental Psychology, or a related field
  • Experience working with or willingness to work with (young) children
  • Strong social/communicative skills
  • Ideally: experience with computational modelling and/or proven affinity with programming
  • Proficiency in the Dutch language is very desirable given that our participants will be speaking Dutch
  • Proficiency in academic writing

What we offer
As PhD position in Sensorimotor Development in Early Childhood at Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, you will be employed by the most international university in the Netherlands, located in the beautiful city of Maastricht. In addition, we offer you:
  • Good employment conditions. The position is graded in scale P according to UFO profile PhD, with corresponding salary based on experience ranging from €2770,00 and €3539,00 gross per month (based on a full-time employment of 38 hours per week). In addition to the monthly salary, an 8.0% holiday allowance and an 8.3% year-end bonus apply.
  • An employment contract for a period of 12 months with a scope of 1,0 FTE. Upon a positive evaluation, an extension of 3 years will follow.
  • At Maastricht University, the well-being of our employees is of utmost importance, we offer flexible working hours and the possibility to work partly from home if the nature of your position allows it. You will receive a monthly commuting and internet allowance for this. If you work full-time, you will be entitled to 29 vacation days and 4 additional public holidays per year, namely carnival Monday, carnival Tuesday, Good Friday, and Liberation Day. If you choose to accumulate compensation hours, an additional 12 days will be added. Furthermore, you can personalize your employment conditions through a collective labor agreement (CAO) choice model.
  • As Maastricht University, we offer various other excellent secondary employment conditions. These include a good pension scheme with the ABP and the opportunity for UM employees to participate in company fitness and make use of the extensive sports facilities that we also offer to our students.
  • Last but certainly not least, we provide the space and facilities for your personal and professional development. We facilitate this by offering a wide range of training programs and supporting various well-established initiatives such as 'acknowledge and appreciate'.

The terms of employment at Maastricht University are largely set out in the collective labor agreement of Dutch Universities. In addition, local provisions specific to UM apply. For more information, click here.

Maastricht University
Why work at Maastricht University?
At Maastricht University (UM), everything revolves around the future. The future of our students, as we work to equip them with a solid, broad-based foundation for the rest of their lives. And the future of society, as we seek solutions through our research to issues from all around the world. Our six faculties combined provide a comprehensive package of study programmes and research.

In our teaching, we use the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) method. Students work in small groups, looking for solutions to problems themselves. By discussing issues and working together to draw conclusions, formulate answers and present them to their peers, students develop essential skills for their future careers.

With over 22,300 students and more than 5,000 employees from all over the world, UM is home to a vibrant and inspiring international community.

Are you drawn to an international setting focused on education, science and scholarship? Are you keen to contribute however your skills and qualities allow? Our door is open to you! As a young European university, we value your talent and look forward to creating the future together.

Click here for more information about UM.

Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience
The Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience (FPN) is an international faculty with students and staff from various cultural backgrounds, who are connected by their shared curiosity about human behaviour and our brains.

This curiosity inspires us to explore the wide field of psychology from different perspectives (such as a biological and cognitive viewpoint). By using small-scale and student-centred methods, such as problem-based learning and project-based learning, we encourage a similar kind of curiosity in our students, as we provide them with the tools to discover the world of the human brain.

Are you interested in this exciting position but still have questions? Feel free to contact Janny Stapel at for more information.

Or are you already convinced and ready to become our new PhD candidate? Apply now, no later than 16 May 2024 for this position.

You can respond to this vacancy by sending your CV, contact details of two references and a cover letter to explain your motivation.

The vacancy is open for internal and external candidates. In case of equal qualifications, internal candidates will be prioritized. Intended start date is 1 September 2024.

Maastricht University is committed to promoting and nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. We believe that diversity in our staff and student population contributes to the quality of research and education at UM, and strive to enable this through inclusive policies and innovative projects led by teams of staff and students. We encourage you to apply for this position.


Maastricht University (UM)


  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 910


Maastricht University (UM)

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Universiteitssingel 40, 6229ER, Maastricht

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